It is flattering when you are asked to be a podcast guest or on a panel of experts. It used to be that you needed to have written a book or launched a successful company to be invited as a podcast guest or panelist. But, now as the number of podcasts and virtual summits grows, regular people are interviewed every day online.

These invites are a good sign that you are making a difference in your career.

While most people aren’t nervous to share their ideas and expertise, it can be nerve-wracking to know how to introduce yourself on a podcast or as a panelist. The introduction differs from a job interview where you have a few minutes to introduce yourself. And, it’s not a typical networking event (although sharing the interview with people can impress your network). It’s different. You want to make a positive first impression with everyone listening to the show.

One way to play around with finding the right opening line is to think about how you’ll start the introduction. Here are five possibilities on how to introduce yourself on a podcast or panelist interview.

 

1. Start with how long you have been doing something.

In this type of introduction, you share how long you have been doing the work, and where you gained the experience. For me, I could introduce myself as

“A career coach with over 20 years experience helping people to find and express their stores, first as a drama teacher and now working one-to-one with clients.”

or

“A career coach who after 15 years of making a low salary in art education I transitioned to HR, and made a whopping 42% salary increase in that first move.”

This introduction helps the listener to know how long you have been at a certain kind of work, and where you developed the skills. Now, a number of years of experience do not automatically equal innovation or expertise. It shows time.

The danger in this kind of introduction is that people often hold onto the first details you share. So, in the above examples, if they think that the arts or drama is more interesting than career coaching, they may only remember the art part.

2. Begin with your current title and area of expertise

Instead of naming how long you’ve been working and where; start the story with your current role and expertise focus.

An HR and career development professional who helps creatives hone their stories to land ideal work.

This allows you to ground the listener in what you are doing now. They won’t have the chance to attach to your former work identities, you show up as owning the title you have.

This style of introduction is safe for a podcast where you’ll be able to add more details and tell stories throughout the episode.

 

3. Begin with prestige

If you have won awards, been published or featured in a magazine, or have been named as a top anything, you could lead with that.

Credibility matters when someone doesn’t know you. So, if your title or company name doesn’t carry much weight, you could help people see your importance, not by saying what you are important, but by referring to what other people say about you.

In Adam Grant’s book, Give and Take, he mentions the role of prestige:

“Research suggests that there are two fundamental paths to influence: dominance and prestige. When we establish dominance, we gain influence because others see us as strong, powerful, and authoritative. When we earn prestige, we become influential because others respect and admire us.”

If I was to introduce myself using prestige it would sound like:

“I’m an internationally recognized career coach with 20 years experience helping people develop and express stories. My book, The Career Stories Method, has been a bestseller on Amazon Canada every month since its release and the book is used in universities across the world. I’m regularly named a top coach to follow by places like Jobscan and Brainz magazine. I was personally asked by Arianna Huffington to write about careers for Thrive. I am a LinkedIn Top Voice.”

4. Go for approachable or understated.

While prestige works for some people, it can be threatening for others. If your target client is feeling insecure, they may feel intimidated when you drop all your accolades. If you’re trying to win over people, you could share a more vulnerable side of yourself. For me, an approachable and understated introduction would be

“I’m a writer and storytelling coach who currently balances a coaching practice while home-schooling part-time.”

5. Focus on the thing you’re selling

Right now I’m selling resuMAY, so it would be smart of me to mention that I was named a top resume writer last year. I would want to share that my book, The Career Stories Method, has been a bestseller in the resume category since its release. I could share how people have oohed over how joyful it is to write a resume using this method. I’d bring up my TedX talk.

 

 

My intro might sound like this:

“I’m passionate about making resume writing easier for people. I’ve created multiple resources, including a best-selling book and TEDx talk on a new way to write resumes — and last year I was named a top 11 resume writer.”

After resuMAY closes, I would change my introduction back to being more general, using the first or second style.

The script can change as your goal changes. That’s why you never need a long memorized intro. It’s more important to know what to flex and when.